Our Spring Concert took place on 16th March and was a true showcase of the range of musical talent at the Crypt School. The concert featured a diverse mix of groups, from student-led ensembles, A-level performances and our symphony orchestra and choir.
The orchestra opened the concert with Rossini’s overture to ‘The Barber of Seville’; a vibrant and musically detailed performance demonstrating excellent intonation and a strong sense of rhythm. Al the instrumental colours of the orchestra were heard and it was wonderful to hear younger musicians performing so well alongside our more advanced instrumentalists.
This performance was followed by an outstanding performance of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ on the clarinet, by Year 12 student, Edi May who was accompanied by our piano/organ teacher, Christopher Boodle. Edi’s maturity as a player and his technical prowess was dazzling.
The first performance by our vibrant and flourishing choir was an arrangement of ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’, demonstrating crisp consonants and style, and allowing our singers to demonstrate how comfortable thy are singing different styles of music. Particularly enjoyable was the blend of the parts and the strong bass resonance.
This year, we have been lucky to secure funding for free beginner brass lessons from Make Music Gloucestershire (see our article). Three students - Matyas, Noah and Xavier - performed a simple piece on euphonium and trombones showing the enthusiasm and good progress they have made. The boys will join our brass group, who played next, in September. David Crowe, a talented Year 13 musician, prepared the brass band himself. They demonstrated excellent tuning and skill as they performed ‘Viva la Vida’ by Coldplay.
This performance was followed by Year 12 soloist Caitlin Farrell, singing ‘I Have Dreamed’ from the musical The King and I, with beautiful tone colour. Caitlin’s performance was followed by the Chamber Choir, coached by singing teacher, Alexander Jones, who performed the madrigal ‘Fair Phyllis I Saw’ with tight ensemble singing and clear diction. This choir features boys from Year 7 to the Director of Music!
David Crowe returned to the stage and, with a beautiful countertenor, sang ‘Come Away Death’ from his Year 13 recital – a very challenging piece from local composer, Gerald Finzi, from a setting of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
Our guitar group, coached by Mark Remes, featured a banjo, mandolin, two guitars and congas - at Crypt School we really do cater for all musicians, and Year 13 student, Rob Day, performed the theme from ‘Schindler’s list’ – a beautiful violin solo.
The first half closed with the percussion group, featuring students from every year group, coached by David Crowe, with an arrangement of the ‘Imperial March’ from Star Wars.
Following the interval, the Jazz Band, coached by Edi May, gave a sterling performance of ‘St Louis Blues’ - each student was given the opportunity to improvise (a hugely important skill for jazz players). Particularly notable was David Jackson’s opening solo! David Snow then conducted them through an electric performance of ‘El Gato Gordo’, highlighting the use of Brazilian percussion.
The girls’ quartet sang ‘I Won’t Say I’m in Love’, with star performances from Maddy Hodges, Molly Bretnall, Hannah Lynch and Jess Goode who then followed with a sensitive piano rendition of an Adagio by Pleyel.
Liam Fleet, fresh from the news that he’d achieved a merit at Grade 7 bassoon, gave a beautiful performance of ‘Gabriel’s Oboe’, with beautiful expressive maturity for a Year 9 pupil.
After, the choir gave a rousing and spirited performance of Stanford’s ‘Magnificat in B Flat’ which they have been working on with Gloucester Cathedral Director of Music, Adrian Partington (see article), in preparation for Evensong in May. Wonderful diction, expression and blend complemented that performance.
Olivia Franghiadi (Year 12) gave a truly outstanding performance of the ‘Czardas’ by Monti on the xylophone, in preparation for her recitla; the incredible contrasts of dynamics and drama in the performance was spellbinding.
The concert finale was a magical performance of the mighty ‘Danse Macabre’ by Saint Saens, a tour-de-force for any orchestra, which our students played with drama, excitement and intensity. An exciting and fitting end to an incredible showcase of talent.
The Crypt School music department’s philosophy is to “make the most of every child’s musical talent”. Tonight, this was evident: high standards, inclusion, variety and a common ambition to share in the joy of performance!
By Julian Whittaker, Head of Music
to see photos of this event please visit our Facebook album